The history of the Diocese of Superior dates back to the 17th century. Our Journey Through Faith offers a glimpse into the historic events that played a role in the growth of Catholicism in Northern Wisconsin.
Our Journey through Faith: A History of the Diocese of Superior,
The oldest Catholic church in Wisconsin, St. Joseph was founded in 1669 when Catholic missionaries Fr. Claude Allouez and Fr. Jacques Marquette visited the La Pointe area in September. On July 17, 1835, Fr. Frederic Baraga, the famed “snowshoe priest,” came to La Pointe and re-established the Catholic mission in response to the needs expressed by Native Americans and French traders. La Pointe was Fr. Baraga’s headquarters from 1835 to 1843. Following the signing of the Treaty of 1854, much of the Ojibwa population relocated from La Pointe to Buffalo Bay (Red Cliff). The first church was built of logs and dedicated to St. Joseph. In 1838, a new, larger church welcomed Bishop Frederic Rese of Detroit, who confirmed 112 adults during his visit. This church was destroyed by fire in 1901 and the current church replaced it in 1902.
REFERENCE: Our Journey through Faith: A History of the Diocese of Superior,
by Sam Lucero, 2005.